The Giving Tree

It’s like losing a part of my childhood…

This morning I saw the TREE which has been in our neighborhood for as long as I can remember. It was so big and enormous that it covers most of the area, protects everyone from extreme heat and makes our place homey and oh so green.

But then for some reason that they think is so important enough to cut off more than decades year old tree, and for what? Modernization? Come on, We all know this is for money and politics. It breaks my heart that something as wonderful as that old tree who’d been there before these people to have to sacrifice for selfish and nonsense agendas.

That’s the second precious tree in our area that they cut off for road widening? Hell, I hate such reason. People can go modern without killing nature. It breaks my heart that I didn’t even get to do anything for the trees. I  hate that I didn’t do anything, like I let them down when they need someone to protect them, after the years they’ve done on doing those things for us, shading us from the sun, blazing winds and heavy rain.

I pity the next generation who wouldn’t experience climbing a tree, who’ll spend their lives looking in on screens and dependent on the internet for happiness, who relies on modern things for living. I hope they’ll have something yet to see, to see things like I did when I was young and everything else is simple and nature isn’t a hindrance to anything but an advantage to have and a priority to fight for.

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Have you read THE GIVING TREE by Shel Silverstein? It is wonderful and tearful story. Give it some time and learn something  that’ll surely touch your being.

credit of photo to: http://bookwormjaz.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/maxresdefault.jpg and http://allpoetry.com/The-Giving-Tree

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Hello Singapore!

Most people had been here. Everyone got their own Singapore experience, and so wanting to see what the craze is all about, I find myself here last June 2014.

It was my first time to fly with Philippine Airlines, and I’ll say it was a good and comfortable flight. With my departure at 6:00AM, I find myself one of the first ones in Terminal 2, Breezy check in and just a few questions asked by the Immigration. (Questions about: Work, Position, Countries you’ve been, How long you stayed there etc… I didn’t have to show any ID’s, return ticket, hotel reservation etc.) Anyway, just be ready with your ID’s, tickets, documents and other files that’ll you need to present to the Immigration in case they need more from you.

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Changi Airport Terminal 1 arrival area is modern. Getting through their Immigration is worry-free (no questions asked). The Airport is very travel friendly, They have different services to accommodate all your needs for the trip. From hotel reservations, transport services, tickets to parks, money exchange. Almost spoon feeding if my term is right.

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To go to your hotel: Go to Ground Transport Desk and Avail the Shuttle Bus for SGD 9. Provide your printed Hotel reservation and pay, they’ll give you a sticker and from there you just have to wait for the driver to fetch you. 

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Arriving in Chinatown marks the start of my Foodfest. To know more, see Foodgasm in Singapore

It was our first time to stay in a hostel, and we’ve chosen Beary Best Hostel in Chinatown. I booked it via hostelworld.com, based on their ratings and customer’s feedback… To check out my personal review for the hostel, See A Review: Beary Best Hostel (Singapore)

Feel good Cotton Candy… They give it for free (somewhere in Chinatown. Sweet!)

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Our visit is 5 days and 4 nights, so we’re not in a hurry with our schedule. Taking our time eating, walking and getting lost 🙂

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Since July is the month of the Great Singapore Sale we decided to buy my sister’s phone in Funan Digital Life Mall – opens at 10:30-8:30pm  **MRT Chinatown NE4 Purple – Clark Quay NE5 Purple (per research, they sell good quality electronics at good price here, plus we want to avail the GST refund.)

GST Refund (for SGD 100+)

  • Upon shopping: look for ETRS logo and present passport
  • Upon leaving SG: present ETRS Ticket / receipt
  • for hand carry items: proceed to Departure Transit Lounge (after departure immigration) then process the refund on a self-help kiosk
  • for cash refund: proceed to Central Refund Center at Departure Transit Lounge with Approved Notification from Kiosk

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 We spent most of the afternoon walking til’ we found ourselves in Marina Bay Sands then to the famous Singapore landmark Merlion. It was a Saturday and the whole place is in party mode, there’s a dance contest somewhere and fireworks everywhere I don’t know where to focus. The place is so hyped! Everyone seems to be here, and I understand why, It’s a great place to just sit, do people watching and feel the cold breeze of the air coming from the waters.

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Day 2 is Universal Studios Day! (but we didn’t get to spend the whole day here as you can finished it in a few hours). We bought our ticket at the Hostel for a discounted price 🙂

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Best photos ever!

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The not-to- missed rides: Mummy and Transformers.
One of my thing when I travel abroad is to get a tumbler or mug. And I got this Bumblebee bottle for SGD 26. (You get a free iced tea refill, just present the receipt).

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After visiting USS, we went to experience The Skyride and The Luge (** 1 Skyride and Luge Combo @ SGD 15 /person, Super worth it, especially the LUGE…

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Next stop, the Beach. How will I describe it? It is a beach with sand. Not much, but nice. As most beaches these days, there’s club and dancing near it. But I like to just walk barefoot.

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For Day 3 see Singapore Zoo

We toured the National Museum of Singapore, It is a place to learn something but somehow I got bored (sorry). Maybe because getting here was really a hassle. We get to walk and walk under the sun combined with the frustration of being lost.

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Anyway, after eating and taking a Nap, we went to see Orchard Road again and watch a movie. The 7.1 Dolby surround sound is so appropriate for the wonderful movie – MALEFICENT! (movie rate: 9.5 / 10). After a long day of walking, good movie, and delicious meal, We just need to sleep and rest well for our travel back in Manila.

From Chinatown to Changi Airport Terminal 2 we took a taxi and paid SGD 22. There’ a night differetial add on of SGD 5. The ride is smooth and fast. MRT opens at 5:30 AM.

Random Information about Singapore:

  1. Everyone speaks English, you just have to deal with different accents
  2. The MRT is very efficient in getting you anywhere. Buy the EZ link card and get a top-up for a minimum of SGD 10 to maximize your train ride. The card can also be used in Bus.Bus is a good mode of transport too. There’s plenty of Bus stops though, but it’s really comfortable.
  3. Food price ranges for SGD 5 full meal. Drinks at SGD 2, and anything fancier goes SGD 30+ (good for 2). There’s so many cuisines to choose from.
  4. Pedestrian Lanes are respected, You have to wait for the green light, rules are rules and you don’t want to mess with the law and pay expensive fines.
  5. Bubble Gum is a no-no
  6. Singapore weather seems the same of that in Manila. I’m not sure but I sweat different here 😦
  7. It is quite expensive. Especially the goods (souvenir shirts, mugs). Don’t convert will be my best advice.
  8. Come in July! SALE is the key word here. (Cotton on shirts at SGD 10 each, flats at SGD 15 each)
  9. Be mindful of the priority seating in MRT, it really is reserved.
  10. They have a lot of offerings for tourists.It is very friendly and information is easy to find

Souvenir shirts!
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Well, there’s my Singapore experience, It really is something wonderful. Know your itinerary (It is always best to create one complete with info’s on how to get from one place to another, what mode of transpo to take etc. ) Have enough cash. Bring your camera. And of course, Enjoy!

Hello Manila! via Cebu Pacific

Hello Manila! via Cebu Pacific

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Singapore Zoo

I love everything green and living. But what I love most is seeing them in their natural form and habitat, roaming where they belong and should be… Their freedom means peaceful and serenity 🙂

I know that the closest thing I’ve got to such thing is the Singapore Zoo. One of the best zoo ever… Hmm, I need to see it on my own before I agree. And so the long journey begins…

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CHINATOWN to SG ZOO directions: From Chinatown MRT to Dhoby Ghaut Station to Choa Chu Kang Station or Ang Mo Kio (same MRT line just different stations), alight  from train then ride a bus going to Singapore Zoo.

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(Somewhere in the net I found another route which we followed, its a very long and complicated trip, it got us lost and walking so far and crossing a very wide highway, tsk tsk never again 😦 My sister told me that If I were to blog about it I need to give the easiest way which we learned after getting lost and arriving at the zoo at past lunch time) and so our first stop is Ah meng.

Ah Meng is the restaurant inside the Zoo. The food choices are quite limited but since their of different cuisine, mostly Asian its more than enough to feed your hunger. I got the Indian Food, Sorry I forgot its name, but its very tasty. See more of my food blog in my entry Foodgasm in Singapore.

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The Zoo is far from the city. Its so huge that you need comfortable shoes and a map to  see all animals. (Follow the map as it has a route to follow leading you to see everything and not miss some animals). If you don’t feel like walking you can ride the train that roams within the zoo for SGD 5.

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Skechers Memory Foam. Very stylish, almost glow in the dark and comfortable like in their ad as if they got bed in their shoes!

Skechers Memory Foam. Very stylish, almost glow in the dark and comfortable like they claim in their ad as if they got bed in their shoes!

Warning: Pictures overload. These are not all the animals, just some that I find most interesting.

The Otters stink! But after reading the sign board I’m like ahhh, that’s why.

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Inuka seems lonely, maybe because he doesn’t have a mate/friend. I need to take a photo of his head and bottom separately because I cannot see both at once.

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These monkeys has got one of the best areas, they have a tree to climb on and can roam around freely. I find their super long hair intriguing, Close-up their similar to that of a damaged human hair 🙂

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An interesting find here, on how TEDDY BEAR came about. Such a soft-hearted President.
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I am not that fond of reptiles though…
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DSC02146Seeing penguins for the first time, hmm, not that fun they look similar to an otter (for me), I know some find them irresistible, I find them normal. Sorry.

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ELEPHANTS OF ASIA is very entertaining, the long walk is worth it. Funny and charming creatures. They really put on a good show. New fact: They can eat a whole bunch of bananas! and they like carrots too.
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Kangaroo. I didn’t see them hop, but well I guess that’s too much to ask for.
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This Hippo is so endearing, he is a ballerina haha! He just tip toes along with the fishes and go rounds in his space.
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DSC02188Zebra, Giraffe, Lion and Rhino made it to my top list. Good thing they are all in the same area. They are so near you can almost touch them except for the lion, he is a snob.

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I can almost touch them… almost.

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Pumbaa's here! Hakuna Matata

Pumbaa’s here! Hakuna Matata

An interesting story here:
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I keep on hearing myself humming “the lion sleeps tonight” and “roar”. Ideal songs for a place like this. Gets you in the mood 🙂 I hope they’ll take my suggestion hahaha!
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IMG_2218They’ve got a souvenir shop that has wide selections. From clothes, footwear, toys, cards, and many more. Its pricey though…

I got this shirt for SGD 39

I got this shirt for SGD 39

Singapore Zoo is a great place both to entertain and educate, I recommend this for both adult and children as we need to see them personally to appreciate and value their existence. A great place for Family bonding. Just rest your feet a day prior to visiting so you’ll have lots of energy to explore everything.

The Zoo schedule is 8:30 am-6:00 pm, you may check out their rates and to know more…

check out their website here.

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DSC02136Loving all things green and living,

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A Review: Beary Best Hostel (Singapore)

June 2014 is a great month as I get to finally visit Singapore. And since most people quote the country as expensive, we booked in a hostel for the first time. Thinking since Singapore is known for their cleanliness, law-abiding citizens and all that, we decided that staying in a hostel will be fine.

And so the search for the best hostel is on! Looking in on different travel blogs and booking sites I get to stumble on their funny name, which first catches my attention. They have BEARY NICE, BEARY GOOD and BEARY BEST. And so asking my sister where she wants to stay, she said let’s go see BEARY BEST!

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At SGD 32 per bed in an 8 female dorm with ensuite bathroom, Our budget in Accomodation will be lessen, thus we can spend more on other things.

All of their Beary Best facilities that they mentioned in their site are present!

  •  Free Coffee, Tea, Hot Chocolate all day
  •  Free daily breakfast (range of cereals, toast and spreads)
  •  Free WiFi internet access and use of netbooks (this is quite slow)
  •  Free local phone calls
  •  NO CURFEW – 24 hour Reception Service (Late check-ins at NO Extra Charges)
  •  Free same day storage after checkout
  •  Ample of shared restrooms on each floor (Female and Unisex Restrooms)
  •  Large Hot Showers (With shower gel and hairdryers provided)
  •  Ironing facilities
  •  A totally chill out lounge with books, games, Wii console and a huge collection of movies/TV series
  •  Your own individual reading light and international powerpoints at every bed.
  •  Individual key card security access to room and hostel
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mixed dorm in 3rd floor

 

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huge lockers, bring your own lock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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no need for adaptorsThe receptionists, all of them are very nice. On our first day since there’s been a mixed up on our booking, they gave us a mixed dorm on the 3rd floor. We were roommates with mostly males but the good things is they are so nice, clean and quite. Plus, we get to have the big female bathroom with 2 showers just across our room. The only not-so good thing here is that we have to whisper or do hand signals so as not to disturb others.

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Reception Area

 

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We stayed for 4 nights and so on our 2nd day onwards we were transferred to our original booking of female dorm. It has its own bathroom. The dorm is nice too, but I prefer the bathroom upstairs… Anyway, their free breakfast is good, you can have toasted bread, cereals, jams, milk coffee, tea and hot chocolate. They also sell noodles, bottled water and juices at low prices.

8 bed female dorm with ensuite bathroom

8 bed female dorm with ensuite bathroom

 

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Random things about the hostel: You need to bring your own lock, No need for adaptors, You can print here at low cost, You need to take off your shoes when you enter the hostel, You can ride the bus exactly in front of the place, MRT Chinatown is just a 3-minute walk, there’s a Korean supermarket nearby, lots of restaurant you can eat in. Universal Studios and Singapore Zoo tickets are sold at discounted price, but you have to order ahead as the tickets are coming from somebody whose not staying in the hostel. The netbooks are sloooowwww, don’t try web check-in here. Just send the file in their website to have it printed.

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There’s a security deposit worth SGD 15 per person, that they’ll return after check-out.

Will definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to save yet have a wonderful place to stay in Singapore. Very comfortable, near MRT and other transportation. Oh, Did I mentioned that BEARY BEST is the biggest and newest of the Three (Nice, good and best). Right in Chinatown.

This is my favorite spot… Guests leave tips and notes on this pin board. PH represent!

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photo (2) copy

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All in all, rating is 4 out of 5. Just a day after landing in Manila, I get to review BEARY BEST HOSTEL in Hostelworld.com and this is what I have to say…

beary best review

Address: 16 Upper Cross Street, Chinatown, Singapore , Singapore Email Address: BestReservations@abearygoodhostel.com

Check BEARY BEST HOSTEL’s website here for all the conditions, rates and other things you need to know: click here!

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Foodgasm in Singapore

Prior to going in Singapore, I have researched on the foods that I should try.. I’ve prepared a list of my must try but when I get there I get lost in all the choices, Super Asian Food fest! Thai, Malay, Indo, Korean… you got it and many more! They also have western, and oh well too many to mention. And so let me share with you a few of my food bites in this Fine City.

As always in our first stop, since we seem to think that we have lots of cash to spend we eat in a place that’s fancier. MY GRANDMA’S PLACE in Chinatown.

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Their broccoli is loooved, that crunchiness is just heaven. And the meat in itself is boring to taste but once you dipped it in their sauce, it becomes special 🙂 The meal cost us SGD 37 but then on the next meals we learned our lesson and so we were able to spend less.

Upon reading different blogs, I saw that one food to try is KAYA TOAST. And so when I saw one in Funan Digital Mall – Ya Kun Kaya Toast I know I needed to have one. Ya Kun Kaya Toast seem famous because there’s a long line on queue, which makes me more determined to taste it!

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I ordered their bestseller, and Iced lemon Tea. verdict? Hmm, the toast is okay, the coffee is okay. Not a fan of the fresh egg. But all in all the kaya toast experience is okay 🙂 total price of this meal is SGD 7.

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I didn’t get to take a photo of the food I dig in at Universal Studios, we had a western food and so I got the classic burger, fries and cheesecake combo, this one is delicious and so heavy, It was an unforgettable lunch. I was so hungry from walking that I’d completely forget about blogging.

I got to taste Hokkien Mee in Orchard Road… (SGD 5.80)

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Next stop is somewhere in a mall, it looks like a hawker or food court. They have hainanese chicken rice, but here they refer to it as chicken rice only. The softness of chicken and richness of flavor is thumbs-up!

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My sister ordered a korean noodle that’s so rich in flavor, the soup itself is divine, added with a bit of kimchi then yes, you get real good korean food.

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I have last tasted Authentic Indian Food in Hong Kong Disneyland because some Indian eating next to our table and they seem to really enjoy it and so curiosity gets the best of me leading me to order one. And since then, It found a special place in my tastebuds. 🙂

So, when I get to Singapore Zoo and there’s this array of Asian food stalls, I went straight to Indian Food and ordered their again, best seller. And I was so happy to see their usual metal plate and unusual combination of spices and ingredients.

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Their food has so many flavors as if there’s fireworks in your mouth!

The food in Singapore is cheap (that is straight forward). You get to have a full meal with drinks for SGD 5. And you get a lot to choose from, the choices are so many it has become so confusing at times, so I just look in a food and try to imagine what it taste like and If I get hungry just by looking at it, then I know I need to get that meal!

Just an advice, try to veer away from common restaurants whenever out of the country, try their local food, not only does it cost less it also gives you a feel of familiarity to the locals.

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Burgoo (SM Marikina)

This will be a straight forward entry about a simple lunch we had this weekend in BURGOO.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once seated they’ll set up your table with crayons and paper to doodle in, mostly for the kids to play with but never too old for a grown-up… This is one of their originals, Burgoo style.

Looking in on their menu, you’ll get lots of choices to choose from. Our picks are:

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Trio Fajitas (beef, shrimp and chicken combi)

Trio Fajitas (beef, shrimp and chicken combi)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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and for the dessert, we pass on cakes as we’re too full. and so this cookies and cream has been enough for our sweet tooth 🙂

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Pasta, with Fajitas and that smoothie cost around Php 1,300 and the treat here is we get to have this discount coupon!

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Great lunch at Burgoo SM Marikina branch… If you happen to be there, drop by and eat your heart out. They have nice service too!

check out their site here! 

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